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Time's up for classic Mangere Bridge

Last updated 05:00 29/11/2013
Footbridge

NEW DESIGN: Replacement of the Old Mangere Bridge is drawing closer.

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A new footbridge to replace the one linking Onehunga and Mangere will be wider and better lit than the existing one.

The NZ Transport Agency has taken another step towards replacing the iconic Old Mangere Bridge by appointing a team to come up with a new people-friendly design.

The $1 million detailed design contract has been awarded to engineering consultants Aurecon and architects Pete Bossley and Sean Burke.

The new bridge design will include ideas from last year's community consultation, Transport Agency Auckland highways manager Tommy Parker says.

"For the people of Onehunga and Mangere Bridge the old bridge is an important part of their communities," he says.

"It's a place where people and families meet as well as one of the city's most popular fishing locations and it is critical we maintain that vibrant community connection." An advisory panel including local iwi and the Historic Places Trust will now put together a brief for an artist, who will work closely with the Transport Agency and the architects before designs for the new bridge are put to paper.

The community will get another chance early next year to provide feedback on proposed designs.

Subject to funding, construction will start late next year or early 2015. It is expected that the bridge will be completed in 2016 - about 100 years after the existing bridge opened.

The Old Mangere Bridge opened to traffic 98 years ago, in 1915.

When the southwestern motorway crossed the Manukau Harbour in 1983 access was restricted to walkers and cyclists.

"The old bridge has been an important part of Auckland's transport connections but it's now nearing the end of its useful life and has to be replaced by an alternative that is both a higher quality and safer link," Mr Parker says.

The existing bridge will remain open during construction of the new one.

NEW BRIDGE

The new Mangere Bridge will include features requested during community consultation, including extending its width from six metres originally proposed to between eight and 10 metres.

Some sections or bays may even be 12 metres to allow people to enjoy fishing while others can walk and cycle safely.

Other ideas include: Construction next to the old one and further from the port Higher clearance above the harbour for safer boat access but with a comfortable gradient for cyclists and walkers.

Enhanced lighting, seating, railing and rubbish bins Features yet to be confirmed reflecting the area's connections with iwi.

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